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Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten London Monuments  
     
A great many monuments pay homage to people and events in the city. The Monument in the City of London provides views of the surrounding area while commemorating the Great Fire of London, which originated nearby. Marble Arch and Wellington Arch, at the north and south ends of Park Lane respectively, have royal connections, as do the Albert Monument and Royal Albert Hall in Kensington. Nelson's Column is a nationally-recognised monument in Trafalgar Square, one of the focal points of the centre.
  For a more complete list, see the main list  
1 The Albert Monument  

architect

Sir George Gilbert Scott  Sculptor: John Bell

location

Hyde Park The Albert Memorial is situated in Kensington Gardens, London, England, directly to the north of the Royal Albert Hall.

date

1872

style

Gothic Revival

construction

stone

type

Monument

It was commissioned by Queen Victoria in memory of her beloved husband, Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha who died of typhoid in 1861, and designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott in the Gothic revival style.

Opened in 1872, with the statue of Albert ceremonially "seated" in 1875, the memorial consists of an ornate pavilion containing a statue of Prince Albert facing south. This is surrounded by the elaborate sculptural Frieze of Parnassus, which depicts 169 individual composers, architects, poets, painters, and sculptors. There are two allegorical sculpture programs: four groups depicting Victorian industrial arts and sciences (agriculture, commerce, engineering and manufacturing), and four more groups representing Europe, Asia, Africa and The Americas at the four corners, each continent-group including several ethnographic figures and a large animal. (A camel for Africa, a buffalo for the Americas, an elephant for Asia and a bull for Europe.) The sculptor Henry Hugh Armstead coordinated this massive effort among several arists of the Royal Academy, including Hamo Thornycroft.
 
     
2 Nelson's Column- Trafalgar Square  
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architect

William Railton

location

Trafalgar Square

date

1840

style

NeoClassical

construction

5.5m (18ft) statue of Nelson stands on top of a 46 m (151 ft) granite column

type

Monument

The column was built between 1840 and 1843 to commemorate Admiral Horatio Nelson's death at the Battle of Trafalgar in 1805. The 5.5m (18ft) statue of Nelson stands on top of a 46 m (151 ft) granite column. The statue faces south, towards the Palace of Westminster and along Pall Mall, where his ships are represented on the top of each flagpole. The top of the Corinthian column (based on one from the Temple of Mars Ultor in Rome) is decorated with bronze acanthus leaves cast from British cannons. The square pedestal is decorated with four bronze panels, cast from captured French guns, depicting Nelson's four great victories.

 
     
3 The Monument  
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architect

Sir Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke

location

 It is located at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 61 metres from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666.

date

1671-7

style

English Baroque

construction

61-metre (202-foot) tall large fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire

type

Monument

The Monument to the Great Fire of London, more commonly known as The Monument is a 61-metre (202-foot) tall stone Roman doric column in the City of London, near to the northern end of London Bridge. It is located at the junction of Monument Street and Fish Street Hill, 61 metres from where the Great Fire of London started in 1666.

It consists of a large fluted Doric column built of Portland stone topped with a gilded urn of fire, and was designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke. The west side of the base of the Monument displays an emblematical sculpture, by Caius Gabriel Cibber, in alto and bas relief, of the destruction of the City; with King Charles II, and his brother, James, the Duke of York (later James II) surrounded by Liberty, Architecture, and Science, giving directions for its restoration. Its 61-metre height marks the monument's distance to the site of Thomas Farynor, the king's baker's shop in Pudding Lane, where the fire began. At the time of construction (between 1671 and 1677) it was the tallest freestanding stone column in the world.
 
     
4 Cleopatra's Needle  
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architect

originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III.

location

on the Embankment of the Thames

date

1450 BC

style

Ancient Egyptian

construction

21 metres (68 feet) high, weighs about 180 tons and is inscribed with hieroglyphs
Each is made of red granite brought from Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile.

type

Monument

Cleopatra's Needles are a trio of obelisks in London, Paris (Place de la Concorde) and New York City. Each is made of red granite, stands about 21 metres (68 feet) high, weighs about 180 tons and is inscribed with hieroglyphs. Although the needles are genuine Ancient Egyptian obelisks, they are somewhat misnamed as none has any connection with queen Cleopatra VII of Egypt. They were originally erected in the Egyptian city of Heliopolis on the orders of Thutmose III, around 1450 BC. The material of which they were cut is granite, brought from Aswan, near the first cataract of the Nile. The inscriptions were added about 200 years later by Ramses II to commemorate his military victories. The obelisks were moved to Alexandria and set up in the Caesarium — a temple built by Cleopatra in honor of Mark Antony — by the Romans in 12 BC, during the reign of Augustus Caesar, but were toppled some time later. This had the fortuitous effect of burying their faces and so preserving most of the hieroglyphs from the effects of weathering.
 
     
5 The Cenotaph  
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architect

Sir Edwin Lutyens

location

Whitehall

date

1919-1920

style

Art Deco

construction

Portland stone

type

Monument

Probably the best-known cenotaph in the modern world is the one that stands in Whitehall, London. It was constructed from Portland stone between 1919-1920 by Sir Edwin Lutyens to replace an identical plaster cenotaph erected in 1919 for the Allied Victory Parade, and is a Grade I listed building. It is undecorated save for a carved wreath on each end and the words "The Glorious Dead", chosen by Rudyard Kipling. It is flanked on each side by the various flags of the United Kingdom, representing the Royal Navy, the British Army, the Royal Air Force and the Merchant Navy. Lutyens had wanted stone flags, as used on his later Rochdale cenotaph, but was overruled. The Cenotaph is the site of the annual national service of remembrance held at 11 a.m. on Remembrance Sunday, the closest Sunday to the 11th November (Armistice Day). Uniformed service personnel (excluding fire and ambulance personnel) always salute the Cenotaph as they pass. It was, for example, very noticeably the only salute made by the Royal Horse Artillery driver of Diana, Princess of Wales's funeral carriage during the procession (on this occasion he did not salute even the Queen). There are no horizontals or verticals on the monument - the horizontals are in fact slightly curved and the verticals, a form of Entasis meet at a point about 1000 feet above the ground.
 
     
6 The Euston Arch  

architect

Philip Hardwick

location

the original entrance to Euston Station in North Central London, England.

date

1837, demolished 1961

style

NeoClassical NeoGrec / Greek Revival

construction

sandstone

type

Monument

The Euston Arch, built in 1837, was the original entrance to Euston Station in North Central London, England.
Designed by architect Philip Hardwick, it was inspired by Greek architecture Hardwick encountered on a trip to Italy in 1818 and 1819. Strictly speaking it was not an arch at all, but a propylaeum of the Doric order. The sandstone structure was designed for the London and Birmingham Railway (L&BR), mirroring Curzon Street Station, Birmingham, at the other end of the company's mainline. The arch was to be not only a fitting gateway to the north, but to the whole new world which the railway was to open up.

 
     
7 Royal Albert Hall  
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architect

Captain Francis Fowke and Colonel H.Y. Darracott Scott of the Royal Engineers.

location

in London's royal borough of Westminster directly to the north in Kensington Gardens

date

1871

style

Renaissance Revival

construction

oval in shape, measuring 83 m (272 feet) by 72 m (238 feet) mainly of Fareham Red brick, with terra cotta block decoration made by Gibbs and Canning Ltd. of Tamworth

type

Exhibition hall

The Royal Albert Hall of Arts and Sciences is an arts venue dedicated to Queen Victoria's husband and consort, Prince Albert. It is situated in London's royal borough of Westminster, within the area also known as Albertopolis. It forms the practical part of a national memorial to the Prince Consort - the decorative part is the Albert Memorial directly to the north in Kensington Gardens, now separated from the Hall by the heavy traffic along Kensington Gore. The hall also accommodates the largest pipe organ in the UK, and is the home of The Proms.